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Agape House needs more space

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GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Agape House is turning away more than 20 women every day.

Founder Sunny Curtis said she does not know why the demand has increased, but she has not seen this since she opened the center in 2005.

Curtis said the local addiction recovery center for women is now looking for a new place to call home outside of the Green County area so they can expand their services.

One woman at the Agave House said she hopes they can make room soon so the organization can save more women like herself.

"A year ago I was in Forest County Jail in Hattiesburg, Mississippi every day waking up wanting to do nothing but get high. My husband, we actually got arrested together. He's there now. He's in prison in Mississippi now. Our whole marriage has been based on drugs. Had I gotten out, I would probably still be living in Mississippi on drugs again."

But the Agape House found her. "I've been here for seven months now and this house has completely changed my life. I mean I just I wouldn't be here without them. You know, it's scary to think where I would be," Smith said.

"I see it in their eyes. You know, they come in looking hopeless, then you see the hope come back and the trust come back," Curtis said.

"We're great people with loving hearts. We just had a problem," current resident Mary Lea Dailey said.

Smith said she isn't only getting clean for herself. "I have a ten year old and a five year old. I wanna raise my kids to love the Lord and be the mother for them that I have not been for the last ten years."

Dailey said the Agave House helped her overcome more than 20 years of addiction and repair relationships with her children. "When I'm out there, they don't have a mom. They have an addict. But when I'm here, they have a mom," Dailey said.

The Agape House also enriches the residents' faith to help pull them out of addiction.

"Everybody's prettier with Jesus in them," Curtis said. 

"This is it for me. I'm done with drugs. I mean I, you know, God is in control of my life now."

 And his presence is felt. "We see miracles every day," Curtis said.

"Every time I see my dad he just gets teary eyed. He just can't believe, you know, he's been praying for me for 15 years to get my life together." Smith said. 

Smith said that's finally happening. She will graduate from the Agape House's program next week. "I'm ready to get my kids back. I miss them really bad and I'm ready to take that next step. I'm ready to start my life clean and sober and with God in the driver's seat."

Smith will graduate with 14 other women on July 13. Smith says she will still be at Agape House as a house coordinator to give back.

Since 2005, the Agape House has helped more than 300 women. The organization currently serves nine counties in the Region 8 area and other states, as needed.

The women it helps serve about a four-month recovery at one of two of its homes in Green County. During this time, the house provides all of its residents with housing, meals, transportation, and classes. 

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